Larry Houser, Founder
Larry Houser founded Fullerton Cares Autism Coalition following the autism diagnosis of his son Boyd, with the goal of creating opportunities for autism awareness, acceptance, and action. In collaboration with the community, Houser has dedicated his life to autism through Fullerton Cares through events including the sold-out Comedy Shows for Autism, and Mardi Gras for Autism. Houser is deeply supportive of Fullerton School District autism programs at local elementary schools, and supports national autism organizations that advocated for families affected by autism. He believes that we must create inclusion for our children with autism and that through working together and pursuing every possible avenue we can do something incredible for children of all abilities.
Summer Dabbs, Director
In addition to her role as stepmom to a child with autism, Summer Dabbs has worked with children with autism for over 20 years, first, as owner of a children’s fitness center, and later as a in-home behavior therapist. Through this experience, Dabbs became very interested in learning more about autism. In partnership with the Fullerton Cares board, Dabbs volunteers to help raise awareness and support for the organization. Her passion and knowledge of serving children with autism led her to a position in an autism special day class and as a substitute teacher’s aide in the Fullerton School District working with the special needs programs. Dabbs’s daughter Maddie is also a talented young advocate for autism, regularly speaking to Fullerton leadership, packed Fullerton Cares entertainment events and her own classrooms on behalf of autism awareness and acceptance.
Brian Bartholomew, Director
Brian Bartholomew is dedicated to elevating the mission of Fullerton Cares. As a past candidate for Fullerton City Council, and as co-owner of Gymboree franchise serving children of all abilities, Bartholomew became passionate about supporting autism-related efforts in the community. When his first student with autism began taking classes at Gymboree, Bartholomew holds annual parties to raise funds for a team supporting this child with autism and now, each year he sees the autism awareness increase. Years later, his own daughter, Kalee, was given a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome at age 8. Kalee now helps to spread her own autism acceptance in the community as a regular contributor to her own published column, “Kalee’s Corner” on the Fullerton Observer.
John Skehan, Director
John Skehan, co-owner of Bourbon Street, has been involved with Fullerton Cares for many years and in many capacities. After learning of autism through fellow Bourbon Street co-owner Larry Houser, Skehan began volunteering for Fullerton Cares in support of Boyd and in support of all children in the region affected by autism. Bourbon Street regularly hosts members of the autism community, recently hosting an inclusive prom night for teens of all abilities, hosting an autism literacy brunch, catering many community functions serving the benefit of people with all abilities, and even offering a dish on the menu with proceeds benefitting autism charities. Deeply committed to his community’s success, Skehan is also actively involved as a member of the Fullerton Elks Lodge.
Dan Ebert, Director
Ebert’s dedication to connecting entertainment and the lively Fullerton culture to events with a meaningful purpose to serve the most vulnerable in our community is unwavering. Inspired to get involved with Fullerton Cares as a creator of the “Comedy Show for Autism” featuring national headliners including: Brad Williams, Carlos Mencia, George Perez, Adam Ray Skyler Stone, Jim Jeffries, Jeff Garcia, and Edwin San Juan, to name a few, Ebert says of his experience with Fullerton Cares, “This work brings great joy and satisfaction…I am a better person for being involved with this cause.” Ebert is a bartender at Roscoes Famous Deli in Fullerton, a venue known for its quality comedy acts, T. Phillips Alehouse in Glendora and also works at the World Financial Group.
Heather Lane, Member
Lane became involved with Fullerton Cares through her nephew, Boyd, diagnosed with autism. Admiring the drive of her nephew, Lane says that, “nothing can hinder his spirit to overcome his differences” and that dedication inspires her spirit of participation in Fullerton Cares. As a member, Lane dedicates herself to raising awareness and educating the community. Heather has been actively involved with many recent Fullerton Cares fundraisers including the Comedy Show for Autism, the All Abilities Prom, and the Fullerton School Board presentation where iPads and bears where donated to Special Education classrooms across the district.
Holly Lane, Member
After first hearing of autism in 2010 when her son, Boyd, was diagnosed with autism and apraxia at age 2, Lane has been involved with Fullerton Cares ever since. Demonstrating great leadership, Lane, co-owner of Bourbon Street, volunteers for all Fullerton Cares events and helps bring autism awareness to all those she meets with an unparalleled friendliness and warmth. Inspired by the incredible special educators that serve her son and the special education population, Lane is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in child development and hopes to one day become a special education teacher in a classroom similar to Boyd’s. Lane is also a master marketer with over 17 years in the industry, promoting and engaging the Fullerton Cares and Bourbon Street audiences though her ads, newsletter and compelling social media campaigns.
Priscilla Houser, Inspirational Figurehead
Priscilla Houser began volunteering for Fullerton Cares when her grandson, Boyd, was diagnosed with autism. Houser, a retired elementary school office assistant of 20 years, who lives by the motto “It takes a village to raise a child,” has guided many families gently and with compassion to resources and understanding about autism, both in her personal and professional life. In addition to Fullerton Cares, Houser is actively involved with TACA and Autism Speaks and provides a tremendous amount of support, understanding and encouragement to all family members affected by autism, including her son, Fullerton Cares founder Larry Houser.
Sherry Hoyt, Member
Sherry Hoyt is a driven and passionate educator and a current Principal with Fullerton School District leading the way for families affected by autism in her district and across the region. A person who truly understands the intricacies of developmental conditions, Hoyt strives for new and creative ways of helping children of all abilities succeed in her district, helping to implement long-term projects including occupational therapy rooms and a Sensory Garden recently featured in Fox LA News and on the cover of the Orange County Register. Hoyt is a true leader in her collaborations with parents and educators leading to true successes for our kids.
Robin Hogerhuis, Program Developer
Robin has recently joined the board as the community program developer and community liaison partnering with local businesses to develop programs within their curriculum for children on the autism spectrum. She has also partnered with CF Dance academy in developing a set of performing arts classes for children on the autism spectrum as well. Robin first introduced Everybody Dance Now, a class for dancing, costumes and performances for the children, that became a huge success. She then went on to create Everybody Move Now, focusing on dance as a means of physical fitness and self expression as well as a music component where the children learn to sing, clap and learn their rhythm instruments together.